10 Quotes That Capture Manolo Blahnik’s Inimitable Charm

Manolo Blahnik
The designer signing shoes for consumers at Saks Fifth Avenue.
Courtesy of BFA NYC

Sitting down with Manolo Blahnik is a fascinating, fun and unforgettable experience.

Read 10 quotes from our cover story this week that capture the legendary designer’s electric personality and undeniable charm.

On aging: “I just keep going. I’ve always been like that. I don’t even know that I’m old. It’s not something I imagine. I just don’t think about it.”

Being a reluctant movie star: “I don’t want to see my stupid self anymore. People might walk into the theater and say, ‘Who is that freak?’ I asked Michael [Roberts] to film the back of me all the time, but it didn’t happen that way.”

Dreaming up his best ideas at night: “During the day, I’ll see women on the street and want to design a shoe for them. But those ideas don’t really stay. Everything comes at night.”

Manolo Blahnik Preciosa Manolo Blahnik’s Preciosa crystal shoe. Courtesy Image

Shoes as an escape: “It’s such a wonderful thing to do mules again, and now it’s the best-selling shoe of the whole summer. It’s extraordinary that the times are so terrible and people buy these stupid shoes. Maybe they want joy for five seconds.”

Fame: “I don’t have a clue about fame. I don’t understand what it is I’m not mad about this kind of business. I never was. I never will be.”

Being recognized: “The other day someone approached me in the Madrid airport and asked to be photographed with me. I said, ‘Look at me, I’m exhausted.’ People come up to me all the time, even on my bloody island. It used to be normal there.”

Manolo Blahnik Shoes Sketch Manolo Blahnik at work. Courtesy of brand.

His Russian fans: “I didn’t think anyone knew about me in Russia. It was incredible to meet so many people in their 30s and 40s who were intellectuals. They really see what’s behind an object and view a shoe as more than something they just put on. I don’t know if it’s fashionable to be like that, but it was incredible. I’ve never seen that in America or Europe.”

Starting out: “I went to the bank and asked for money to buy leather, and they said yes. Now new people don’t get a chance to express themselves because they haven’t gotten the finances. In my time, people decided to do something, and they could do it. It was sometimes successful and sometimes horrible, but [they could make it happen].”

Emerging talent: “The talent that is there shouldn’t be. I don’t want to mention names, but the wrong people are doing it, and it’s so bad. There are young English kids from the fashion schools doing beautiful things, but they can’t break out.”

His escape: “I would love to be quiet with my dogs. I love them more than anything else. Dogs, not people.”

Watch our exclusive video with Manolo Blahnik here: